Maine School Bus Driver Charged With OUI While Working

A Maine school bus driver is on leave after being charged with operating under the influence while on the job.

On Saturday evening, 68-year-old Richard Tanguay was bringing a Biddeford High School field hockey team back from a state championship game. That's when a Maine State Police trooper saw Tanguay's bus drifting in and out of highway lanes on Interstate 95 in Scarborough.

The trooper noticed the bus was speeding through a construction zone and saw the driver failed to use turn signals.

He pulled the bus over and conducted a field sobriety test. Tanguay passed for alcohol but failed for other substances, according to Jeremy Ray, the superintendent of Biddeford Schools.

"It was determined he was impaired," said Ray. "Thankfully, no one was hurt."

Both state police and the school district are now investigating further into how exactly Tanguay became unfit to drive.

In the meantime, the longtime driver has been placed on administrative leave.

NECN and NBC10 Boston attempted to reach him at his home with no response. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.

Angela Hayden, a Biddeford Schools parent who has children whom Tanguay drove, says she was surprised and concerned by the news of his arrest.

"They've been on that bus for years," she said. "The kids loved him, they call him 'Bubbles.' There was no issue."

According to the school system also is no record of any similar problem or incident in Tanguay's record.

Like all other school drivers with the district, he has been subjected to fingerprinting, background checks and a health check approved by a physician.

"That job is very tough," said Ray. "We follow the process."

Parents hope that process is taken a step further to figure out exactly how someone they trusted ended up charged with an OUI.

"I hope there is a lot more investigating," said Hayden.

Tanguay is out on $500 bail.

A court appearance is not scheduled until January 2020.

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